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Things are going back to normal…slowly. I’m now wearing my replacement headphones (for the ones that were stolen). I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed using them while I write my blog until they were gone…along with my husband’s. Thanks to decent home insurance coverage, we are able to replace all the personal property that was stolen. Tonight we went and bought my new headphones and, once again, the soundtrack to Master and Commander is beating to quarters in my ears.

I’m doing uppers and downers tonight. Don’t worry…they’re mild. Downers, in the form of tall sparkling glasses of champagne, to relax after a long, emotional week. Then uppers to keep me awake after all the champagne…I’ll either opt for freshly brewed coffee or a cup of Nescafé, which I can never resist and reminds me of my magical time in Oxford last January. Why do I want to drink coffee at nine o’clock at night? Two reasons. First, I’m baking my husband a homemade cheesecake for his birthday. It’s in the oven now and will then need to cool completely before I can put it in the refrigerator to set overnight. I’m afraid I burned the top a bit…he doesn’t know that yet. The second reason I want to stay up is because in less than ten minutes I will find out what the first genre, subject, and character assignment is for the first round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. I’m actually surprised at how excited I am about this. I’ve been mentally filing away different settings and situations I’d like to write about, and am thinking it could create an interesting result if I forced the competition requirements into one of those settings. Amazing things happen when you force a square peg into a round hole.